Worklog Wii Laptop in Original Case

Discussion in 'Wii' started by Senor Avocado, May 15, 2019.

  1. Senor Avocado .

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    Hey everybody, I am working on my first Wii portable. Because I am not too familiar with casework or 3D printing, I was hoping to start easy and create it in the laptop style sort of similar to this picture.
    af87cd2d2d07047d255df93e24819aff.jpg
    So far I already have my portablizemii installed on the wii and my custom regulators wired up and putting out the proper voltages (I will add those pictures soon)

    As of right now I am stuck a little. Since I will not be trimming my wii motherboard, I was looking around the forum to see how I could go about connecting the custom regulators with an untrimmed board. I stumbled on the below thread and found some helpful comments

    https://bitbuilt.net/forums/index.p...e-main-regulators-on-the-board.700/#post-7118

    In the thread above, Gman said this:
    "Remove the large inductors and capacitors that are located outside of the OMGWTF trim. Also most importantly remove U18 and the 3.3v standby regulator. On the back, remove U15, U16, and U17. I usually just pull everything off with pliers and then use a soldering iron to clean up the connections so nothing has shorted. Some boards you can get away with just removing U18, but others I have found it won't work so to be sure, you could just remove everything."

    and then Shank said:
    "You will also need to connect both the 3.3v and 3.3v standby lines together and power them off of the 3.3v line.

    So I got to work on the motherboard! I removed U15, U16, U17, U18, the 3.3v standby regulator, the 5 large electrolytic capacitors on the top in the regulation area, the 5 inductors on top, the 8 8-pinned ics on the top, all of the little transistors near U18 and a few more on the bottom side. Pretty much everything except for the passive components. I have marked on the below pictures in red all of the components I just talked about.
    Wii rp 40 top with components removed.jpg
    Wii rp 40 bottom with components removed.jpg
    After that I made the below connections on the board to my regulators:
    Blue Line: connecting 3.3v Standby line and regular 3.3v line
    Orange circle: 5v (When I looked at the Wii compendium this spot on the electrolytic connected with 5v everywhere else I think)
    Red Circle: 3.3v
    Blue Circle: 1.15v
    Yellow Circle: 1v
    Black Circle: Ground
    Wii rp 40 top Wire Connections.jpg

    When measuring with my multimeter, My 3.3v volt line drops a lot, to under 1 volt. I am not sure what can be causing it as I did no trimming to the board.

    Also, I wanted to point out that to test it I was using the regular AV cable and plugging it into my television, and connected the usb drive to the port that was closest to the motherboard. Is there anything that I am missing that would cause the wii not to boot?

    I know that with the OMGWTF trim that you also need to do the U10 relocation, is that necessary when not trimming the board? I suppose my next step will be removing every single little passive component.

    I also know that I will not be getting any audio at the moment since the audio preamp is not getting it's 12v. I figured that I wanted to try and get the video and the console working before I messed with the audio. Should I go ahead and attach the battery pack voltage (7.4ish volts I think) to the audio preamp?

    I appreciate everyone's help and hope I can solve this soon!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  2. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . . .

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    A picture is worth a thousand words. Posting some pictures of your board will really help us help you
     
  3. Senor Avocado .

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    I have uploaded some pictures of the board. some notes I wanted to make:

    1) I did trim back the gamecube memory card ports to provide space for the power switch, led status lights, audio jack and volume potentiometer but i tested the wii before even touching the onboard regulators and it booted up fine, so I do not think it is a short on the gamecube memory card ports
    2) Removing the 3.3v standby regulator took a long time with my iron, I suppose I could have toasted something while trying to remove it
    3) I also used a razor blade to knife between some of the legs of the removed ic's to ensure there were no shorts. I come from a background of making guitar effect pedals, and this is useful to clear out between those legs Photo May 15, 4 04 32 PM.jpg Photo May 15, 4 04 45 PM.jpg Photo May 15, 4 05 11 PM.jpg Photo May 15, 4 05 29 PM.jpg Photo May 15, 4 05 57 PM.jpg

    And here are pictures of my regulators and battery compartment. Next time I am able to work on it, I will take pictures of some of my multimeter readings
    Photo May 15, 4 07 00 PM.jpg
     
  4. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . . .

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    I would start by removing everything within the bounding box of the "stock regulators" outlined in these two photos. The behavior of the stock regulators isn't fully documented, so there could still be stuff going on with the remaining passives.

    If you still have a short on 3.3v to gnd, I would suggest temporarily disconnecting the jumper wire between the 3.3v and 3.3v standby so you can tell which of the two is shorting to gnd.

    I'm a guitar pedal nut as well. If every component required the power isolation that pedals do, this hobby would be completely unbearable.
     

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  5. MasterNate . .

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    You said you would like to start easy with a wii laptop. It would actually be easier to make everything in one piece without any moving parts like a laptop hinge. That is why most of the portables on the forums are not in a laptop/clamshell style. It is possible to do it, but it is just easier to not have to work with hinges.

    This seems pretty cool. I never even thought of not trimming the board but using custom regulators anyways. I cannot wait to see how this turns out.
     
  6. GingerOfOz no wario Staff Member . . .

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    Actually, we've moved away from discouraging clamshell designs. A laptop hinge espescially is fairly simple to implement.
     
  7. Senor Avocado .

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    Shank - I agree with you about the power isolation with pedals! Having a good power supply is so important so that you don't have an overly noisy pedal. I will have to show you guys some of the pedals I have made, The one I am most proud of is a Green Russian Big muff that I fit in a 1590a enclosure (about the size of the Mooer mini pedals)

    Masternate - I was planning on using some laptop hinges so hopefully when I get to that point it won't be too tough to get things working!

    Alrighty I got to work on this some more on my break today. I removed as much of the passive componets as I could, taped up the rest of the board so that I would not get any dust or whatever on it, then used some sand paper to sand the area until it was smooth and so that I could see that there were no shorts. below are those pics
    Top of Board after sanding.jpg Back of board after sanding.jpg

    I did however accidently sand off a little bit off the top of the below circled in red component. Do you think that could cause the wii not to boot? I see that the group is made up of 2 capacitors, 2 resistors and a "Fil1." I think it is possible for me to replace it, but I am not sure what component a FIL1 is.
    Close up back of board.jpg

    I also have pictures of me measuring my regulators (I saw somewhere on here that it was okay if the voltages were a tiny bit lower, but I do not know by how much)
    Regulator 5v.jpg Regulator 3.3v.jpg Regulator 1.15v.jpg Regulator 1v.jpg

    and then my measurements once the regulators are connected to the motherboard. This time the 3.3v line is a lot closer to what it seems like it should be. however, some of the others look a tiny bit lower (notably the 1.15v line).
    Onboard 5v.jpg Onboard 3.3v.jpg Onboard 1.15v.jpg Onboard 1v.jpg

    Also, below is the picture of my usb drive lighting up to show that I am getting 5v to the usb ports
    USB light on.jpg

    After all of this, my board was still not outputting any video over the stock composite cable. The power led would also not light up. Are there any other thoughts on what I may need to do to get it to work? I hope I haven't fried it already with my first attempt of plugging things in yesterday. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  8. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . . .

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    Have you tried plugging the wifi module back into the board? Perhaps you didn't install nowifi ioses?
     
  9. Senor Avocado .

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    Cheese - Sorry I forgot to mention that at first. Before I even touched the onboard regulators in any way, I removed the wifi module and was able to boot up and everything. It was not until after removing the stock regulars that I started having issues.
     
  10. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . . .

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    That's good, that would mean it isn't some kind of software issue. Double check your voltages on all these pins, I feel like 3.3v standby isn't getting where it needs to, since you said the power light isn't coming on.
    [​IMG]

    I'd also double check to make sure nothing is shorting on the memory card pins, that can prevent the wii from acting normally
     
  11. Senor Avocado .

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    Cheese - I checked the voltages on those pins, all 4 of them are getting 3.3v, I did a little bit more sanding on the board where the regulators were and the gamecube ports and checked each trace to see if there was continuity, and it seems to not be shorting. I still had no video signal :(

    The fan is spinning and the usb light still going strong though.

    I had another wii ( a 6-layer one ) nearby to make sure i had my tv on the correct settings for composite video too.

    I think I may throw in the towel on this motherboard, I can't think of any other ways to troubleshoot it, It may be a dead board.

    Do you think that doing the u10 relocation and testing it then would help cut out any issues?
     
  12. Senor Avocado .

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    Hello everybody! After a couple months of off and on troubleshooting, I have finally been able to get a untrimmed wii motherboard to boot up for me! I thought it would be helpful to document what I did for anybody else who has plans for a larger portable or wants to reuse the original case for all the preexisting mounting hardware and easy heatsink/fan solution.

    I do want to say that I have not stressed tested this yet, but I imagine since I will be using the original fan and heatsink that it should be a non-issue.

    Also, I am pretty sure that my process renders the MX chip defunct, but since I do not plan on playing animal crossing, I should be good!

    First, I had a 6-layer board (rvl-cpu-20)

    After disassembling it, I went ahead and removed the wifi board (since I had nowifi ios) and did the u10 relocation. I destroyed U10 on my first try so I had a second shot with U9. After making sure that the U9 pins were jumpered and confirming that the U10 relocation was a success, I went on to the next step.

    I recalled that many of the big guys on the forums recommended removing all of the onboard regulator components so that it would not interfere with the custom ones, but after trying that and torching 2 boards, I tried a different approach. I did what Gman said in a before mentioned thread and just removed U18 (the 14 pinned Voltage Comparator) I then tested the board again with the stock 12v wii power supply to confirm that it was still working.

    I now wanted to makes sure that my board would still boot with the custom regulators, so I hooked the 1v, 1.15v, and 3.3v and ground wires to their respective spots on the official 6-layer trimming guide. I wanted to test without usb, so I held the reset button to have it instantly pull up the priiloader screen so that I wouldn’t have to wait so long for the no-usb screen.

    This part was cool because I was able to go back and forth between testing with the stock 12v power supply and my custom regulators. All I did was undo the ground connection to the custom regulators so that they were not somehow connected to the rest of the wii motherboard when I tested it with the stock power supply

    The next part is what was tricky for me, I desoldered the usb jack and made a little breakout board to connect to my usb drive. I connected D+, D- and Ground, but I left off the 5v and DID NOT connect it to the wii motherboard as I wanted to power it straight from my 5v regulator. After powering it on (with the custom regulators), the Portabilizemii screen would come up, but it was very sluggish and kind of laggy looking. It then crashed into an error message.

    I thought I didn’t have the data lines twisted enough, but after swapping it with a shielded cable, and then reconnecting the 5v line to the motherboard and then testing it with the stock regulators, I was able to boot up normally. I deduced then that my usb wring was fine, and that something else was causing the lag.

    I did eventually notice however that if I pressed the power button right after supplying power to the custom regulators, it would then boot up normally.

    That made me think that something with the MX Chip or Standby 3.3v line was causing issues. I tried just connecting the 3.3v standby line and regular 3.3v line with a wire, but that caused my board to not boot at all.

    My next step was lifting all of the 3.3v pins on the MX Chip. (you can tell which ones in the picture below) At this point the wii would do the laggy/crashing boot and the power button fix wouldn’t work (makes sense since the MX chip was getting no power.

    mx_chip_2.png

    My holy grail moment was then connecting the 3.3v custom regulator to where I jumpered the U9 pins. I know this spot needs to have the 3.3v and it usually gets it from the standby line but after this, I was able to have the console boot up normally! At this point I was so happy to finally have my untrimmed board boot without having to take off all of onboard regulation circuitry and still use the custom regulators!

    I am not sure if this will work if U9 was still there, maybe someone else can try it out and confirm.

    To break it down in easy steps:
    1) U10 relocation
    2) Remove U9 and then jumpered U9 pins (maybe unnecessary)
    3) Removed U18
    4) connected 1v, 1.15v, and 3.3v and ground to their respective spots from the custom regulators
    5) desoldered usb jack
    6) wired usb to be have 5v be powered separately from the motherboard
    7) lifted all four 3.3v pins on MX Chip
    8) connect 3.3v from custom regulator to jumpered U9 pins

    Thank you cheese for your help in narrowing it down to the MX Chip! I have wanted to chuck this project in the garbage so many times now but I feel like I am flying on a pizza filled cloud! Soon I will just be putting all the case stuff together!
     
    Ekterm and cheese like this.

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